4 out of 5 stars (one of the best of the year)
Let me begin by saying that Pixar always impresses me even if it is in a small way. Their unique ideas (I.E rats that want to cook, toys that move around and speak when no humans are present) are always totally original and usually hilarious. However, Pixar’s last film, Wall-E, was in my opinion more aimed at adults and environmental groups then kids. But Pixar came back and gave us Up, an action comedy with heart. It is also the 2nd Pixar film to be rated PG. The first was “The Incredibles” back in 2004.
“Up” is the story of Carl Fredrickson, an old man who dreams of going to Paradise Falls, like he promised his deceased wife Ellie he would. To accomplish this (and to stop the neighborhood from forcing him into Shady Oaks retirement home,) Carl puts a large number of helium balloons on his house and takes off. Just as things seem perfect, Carl discovers that a young and quite annoying Wilderness Explorer named Russell has stowed away on his porch. Russell is seeking to get his “assisting the elderly” badge, but instead Grumpy “Uncle” Carl must take care of him.
This film has lots of laughs that everyone will understand. Most of them come from the many talking dogs especially the one with ADD, Dug, who adopts our characters. (I wonder what my dog, Cooper would say if he could speak, maybe please walk me?) Again the dogs are the funniest characters in the film. The Alpha dog has a defective collar, thus making him sound like Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks. There is also a dog air force with tranquilizer guns that are shot out by chew toy. I loved the “Cone of Shame”, one of those collars put around a dog’s neck so it won’t bite itself.
The scenery is exotic and colorful as I imagine South America looks. Other characters, including the villain, add a twist to this tale as does the violence which earns the PG rating. Unfortunately, when the Fredrickson’s lives are being shown in the beginning of the movie, a long sequence with no talking, the younger ones might get bored. The adults will love it, according to my mom.
Besides that, “Up” is a hilarious and heartfelt family film with no profanity or bad content. There is only one joke about bodily humor which most parents will find adorable.
Rated PG for some peril and action